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Teasing on a Dutch farm


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I moved [to a new family] after like six weeks.  The first family that I was with was very different than I had grown up — very strict, black and white is a good way to put it.  Upper middle class.  And they would go here and they would go there.  I didn’t have enough money to do all of it.  Part of it was I wasn’t fitting in with their lifestyle.  Looking back I think maybe I was harder on myself, but it ended up well.  I still keep in contact with them as well.  A very nice family but very different than what I was used to.  I maybe didn’t give it enough time, but I think it worked out best that I left.  It was my choice and not theirs.

That was absolutely different [meeting second family].  They lived on a rebuilt farm that was in kind of a small village off of a village.  It was 12.5 miles from my school, which was in the next decent-sized town and I biked that to school every day.  They had sheep, lots of sheep, and they had pine trees which were their hobbies, and a compost pile in the backyard.  They had an old car that was older than I was and three older siblings, although one was in America for the year, one was home only on the weekends, and I had a brother that was there all the time with me.

The first day with my new family, the people I call Mom and Pop, was so different.  I was in Holland for six weeks.  When I got there we had dinner and I went to go sit in the living room with the family and my Pop said to me, “plogen”,  so I had to go get my dictionary.  I came back out with my dictionary and I looked up “plogen, plogen”, what does that mean.  I remember he said you’re not allowed to do something, and I looked up plogen and it’s ‘tease.’  They were teasing, and I said, oh, this is going to work!  And that worked much better.  Mom and I sat and looked at picture books and art books that night.  I was accepted right away.

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Dutch bathrooms


I flooded the bathroom trying to figure out how the shower worked. 

I didn’t want to ask!  But the Dutch have the toilet room and a bathroom.  It was a rebuilt farmhouse.  There was something wrong with the drain, and you had to pick up the drain and I didn’t know that.

I was trying to get the water to come out of the shower, so I couldn’t figure that out either.  By the time I got out of the shower I realized there was no edge – little lip of the floor – it was a straight floor all the way across, and I got out and the rest of the bathroom was flooded.   I was so embarrassed!  I was mortified for a few minutes.

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